in Review

The Amazing Spider-Man

With the The Avengers already assembled and The Dark Knight‘s rise looming, I wouldn’t blame anyone for deciding to overlook the filler content that is this year’s Spider-Man movie. After all, the first Spider-Man came out 10 years ago, alongside Men in Black II, and it’s been just five years since Spider-Man 3. It’s way too damn early to reboot this franchise, but Sony sure doesn’t want Disney getting control of the character, so here we go again.

You know the story already: Nerd gets bitten by radioactive spider, gets super powers, learns great power comes with great responsibility, stops the only other super person in the city who coincidentally showed up at the same time. The Amazing Spider-Man is almost exactly the same movie that came out 10 years ago. The special FX are better, the whimsy has been replaced by angst, but really, not enough was changed to justify this film’s existence.

Peter is no played by Andrew Garfield, that guy from The Social Network. He’s fine in the role, I feel like the witty side of the character comes more naturally to him, although he’s not as good at being a nerd. That’s not really an issue, since the Peter Parker really isn’t a nerd at all, just a dude with a skateboard who’s really smart. Perhaps that’s why he attracts the interest of Gwen Stacey, now played by Emma Stone, who, having tasted that sweet, sweet Jessie Eisenberg already, clearly needed to experience the other half of The Social Network duo. Gwen is one of a few changes to make the film more like the comics, a list which also includes Flash Thompson and Peter somewhat becoming friends and Spider-Man building webshooters instead of having that as a power.

Early on the film suggests Peter Parker’s real parents were important for some reason, but, sensing that making the boy’s life so dramatic was a mistake, that backstory is never paid off. He’s still raised by Aunt May and Uncle Ben (Sally Field and Martin Sheen) who this time aren’t a million years old. The evil scientist is Dr. Connors instead of Norman Osborn, but he still is a scientist at Oscorp that thinks he’s going to lose it all, so he uses his super human serum on himself, turning into the Lizard, a creepy giant monster. His plans never make any sense, but who cares.

I just couldn’t get over how beat-for-beat identical this movie was to the Spider-Man movie from my youth. They even felt they had to include a scene before the final fight where the good people of New York rally together to support the webhead in his moment of need. This reboot was made as if we had all forgotten about the Spider-Man films of yesteryear, like we had no idea who this guy was. I don’t get that approach. What if every time they changed the James Bond actor they did an origin story? That sounds silly right? So why is it OK with Spider-Man?

I hate watching Fox and Sony and whoever isn’t Disney fuck around with these Marvel properties because they know they can make money and don’t want Marvel to get them back. And I hate The Amazing Spider-Man the most because it makes me feel so old. If I was 10 years younger I know I’d be all about this, because I was so about the first movie. There’s nothing wrong with The Amazing Spider-Man – it’s acted well, the special FX are great, it’s what you look for in a summer super hero blockbuster – except it shouldn’t exist.

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